PERFORMANCE SERIES HONORING JAZZ GREAT DUKE ELLINGTON CONTINUES AT BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB, NYC
The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts and The American Tap Dance Foundation Present “CrackerJazz” With Compositions from Duke Ellington’s 1960 The Nutcracker Suite Sunday, November 3 at 5:30pm.
The Duke Ellington Center Big Band, conducted by multi-Grammy nominated Bobby Sanabria, will perform "CrackerJazz," the third of a monthly performance series honoring jazz icon Duke Ellington on Sunday, November 3 at Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th Street, NYC. Doors open at 4:30pm; performance at 5:30pm.
The program will include special appearances by jazz vocalists Sharon K. Janda, Antoinette Montague and Ty Stevens, as well as tap dance performances by DeWitt Fleming Jr., Felipe Galganni, members of the Tap City Youth Ensemble, Karen Callaway Williams and belly dancer Anna Pipoyan.
Hosted and presented by Mercedes Ellington, Artistic Director/Founder of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, Inc., and Tony Waag, Artistic Director of The American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF), CrackerJazz is based on the 1960 Duke Ellington album Three Suites, a jazz interpretation of “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The works on the album were arranged by Duke Ellington and composer and pianist Billy Strayhorn. Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” was arranged and recorded by a number of big bands, beginning in the 1930’s, but the Ellington/Strayhorn version is the most often performed jazz version today.
“Tap and jazz are undeniably attached at the hip,” said Mr. Waag, who is curating the tap dance portion of the Ellington performance series. Duke Ellington was inducted into the ATDF International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2017.
The Duke Ellington Performance Series will continue at Birdland Jazz Club monthly, on Sunday evenings.